HORROR & VENTRILOQUISM

The Twisted, the Bizarre, and the Demented in Horror/Thriller/Mystery Films & Television & Comics

1925: The Unholy Three

Silent Film.   Three circus performers assume new identities to launch a crime wave.  Echo the ventriloquist becomes a kindly old grandmother and  runs a bird shop. A midget becomes her grandbaby, and a strong man is their assistant.

Directed by Tod Browning.  Lon Chaney is Professor Echo.

  

1929: The Great Gabbo

USA:  Directed by James Cruze and Story by Ben Hecht.  An abusive, egotistical, and cruel ventriloquist (Erich von Stroheim) uses his dummy, Otto, to express his hidden gentle side.  Eventually, the ventriloquist goes mad.

    

  

1930: The Unholy Three

Sound remake of the 1925 silent film.

Directed by Jack Conway.  Lon Chaney as Professor Echo.  Harry Earles appears as the midget in both the 1925 and 1930 versions. 

This was Lon Chaney's only talking picture.  A month after completing the movie, he passed away.

 

1939: Mr. Moto's Last Warning

Spies attempt to sink French ships and pin the blame on the British.  But ace Japanese detective Mr. Moto (played by Peter Lorre) unravels the scheme and treads hot on their trail. 

The chief villain (Ricardo Cortez) of the film, in order to carry out his mischief, assumes the role of a ventriloquist -- Fabian the Great & Alf.

  

1940: The Demon Dummy

A man attempts to frame a ventriloquist, who treats his dummy like a real person.

A comic strip by Ed Wheelan in two parts, appearing in Flash comic books.

BONUS: Sample pages of Demon Dummy

  

1943: The Dummy Talks

British.  A midget / detective masquerades as a dummy to find out who murdered a blackmailer/ventriloquist. 

A mystery directed by Oswald Mitchell.  Starring Jack Warner (pictured), Claude Hulbert.

1945: Dead of Night -- "The Ventriloquist's Dummy"

Five Tales of the Supernatural:  In "The Ventriloquist's Dummy" a ventriloquist  (Michael Redgrave) cannot get along with his dummy, Hugo Fitch.

  

 

1949: Studio One -- "The Rival Dummy"


TV: September 19, 1949.  A ventriloquist's dummy is murdered.  Stars: Anne Francis & Paul Lukas.


Story: Ben Hecht (in pictures at right).  Hecht worked on Hitchcock films in the 1940's as well as numerous other stories and screenplays in various genres.  Hecht's story of the "Rival Dummy" was also the inspiration for The Great Gabbo (see above).

  

1956: Superman # 109 -- "The Super Puppet with X-Ray Eyes"


1956: Alfred Hitchcock Presents -- "And So Died Riabouchinska"

TV: Directed by Robert Stevenson.  Story by Ray Bradbury.  A ventriloquist (Claude Rains) and his female dummy are involved in puzzling murder that occurred inside a theater.

   

1957: Alfred Hitchcock Presents -- "The Glass Eye"

TV: Directed by Robert Stevens.  With William Shatner and Billy Barty.  A female fan of a ventriloquist gets a chance to meet the entertainer she admires, but there is some confusion over just who is the dummy and who is the ventriloquist.

 

1962: Twilight Zone -- "The Dummy"

US: Television: Written by Rod Serling.   An alcoholic ventriloquist (Cliff Robertson) believes his dummy is alive and trying to take over his act.

  

1964: Twilight Zone -- "Caesar and Me"

US: Television: A dummy leads a ventriloquist (Jackie Cooper) into a life of crime.

  

1964: Devil Doll

UK: An evil hypnotist/ventriloquist (Bryant Haliday) plots to defraud an heiress of her  millions.

 

 

1978: Magic

USA: Director - Richard Attenborough, Screenplay/Based on the Novel by William Goldman.  A dummy named Fats develops a mind of his own and wants to control his master (Anthony Hopkins).

Click Here For More Information

 

 

1988: Child's Play [Chucky Series]

USA: A serial killer (Brad Dourif) transfers his soul into Chucky, a dummy.  Andy (Alex Vincent) receives the violent doll as a birthday gift, and the dummy attempts to transfer his soul again into the young boy.

Sequels:
Child's Play 2 (1990)
Child's Play 3 (1991)
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Seed of Chucky (2004)

NOT RECOMMENDED!

    

1988: Pin ..

Canada: Low-budget production about a sister and brother who live with a large puppet they call "Pin" (for Pinocchio). The medical dummy (with its muscles and organs visible through its clear skin) explains physiology to children. But the over-protective brother uses Pin to control his sister.

NOT RECOMMENDED!

1988: Detective Comics #583

A mild-mannered but schizophrenic individual becomes the deadly Ventriloquist, a new arch-criminal for Batman.  The Ventriloquist's dummy Scarface, who looks like a 1920s gangster, actually is the mastermind behind the crimes.

The Ventriloquist reappeared in the Batman comics during the 1990s.  The Ventriloquist and Scarface also appeared in the animated Batman TV series.

  

1990: Tales from the Crypt -- "The Ventriloquist's Dummy"

Another killer dummy flick.  Stars Bobcat Goldthwait (as Billy Goldman, an aspiring ventriloquist) and Don Rickles (as Mr. Ingles, the seasoned professional ventriloquist).

NOT RECOMMENDED!

 

1995: The Dummy

A fortune teller orders her ventriloquist doll to attack a newlywed couple who laughed at her and left without paying.  Directed by Dante Falconi.

NOT RECOMMENDED!

2000: The Dummy

Another killer dummy flick.  Written & Directed by Keith Singleton.

NOT RECOMMENDED!

2005: Dummy

A man is trapped in a theater with a live dummy.  Written and Directed by Matthew Graves.

NOT RECOMMENDED!

 

 

 


 

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